NASA scientists get additional data on 7 Earth-sized planets

The National Aeronautics & Space Administration’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope has provided scientists with additional data about the TRAPPIST-1 ultra-cool dwarf star, which has seven earth-sized planets.

On 22nd of February, NASA announced that its Spitzer Space Telescope discovered seven Earth-sized planets revolving around the TRAPPIST-1 dwarf star. Preliminary data suggested that these planets are likely rocky and some of these could have life-supporting environments.

New data provided by Kepler, which has been observing this star since December last year, is expected to help the scientific community to refine their previous estimates about the seven exoplanets.

Geert Barentsen, K2 mission research scientist at NASA’s Calif.-based Ames Research Center, said that additional data will likely help scientists pin down the exoplanets’ orbital periods and mass as well as the magnetic activity of their host star.

Speaking on the topic, Barentsen said, “Scientists and enthusiasts around the world are invested in learning everything they can about these Earth-size worlds. Providing the K2 raw data as quickly as possible was priority to give investigators an early looks so they could best define their follow-up research plans.”

Kepler gathered the new data during 15th of December last year and 4th of March this year while observing minuscule changes in brightness of the dwarf star due to transiting planets.